In the quiet hush before the screen lit up, she slid her hand, quick, warm, and covered his, as it rested on his knee, his tension evident in the controlled drumming of his fingertips. His hand stilled, turned over, intertwined his fingers with hers, as their palms fitted perfectly into each others’.
She did not care if she was noticed. He never did worry about it anyway. But this moment, it was special. It was just as she imagined it, over the decade plus years from when she’d first visualized it. The ambiance, the feels.Apart from herself, there was Him, his dearest friends, Her, that line-up of family, critics he’d had to suck up to (his wry words!)
She knew too, he was taut, as a string, his emotions playing a concerto, with its slow rhythm, a build-up. All of it, she knew. How, she did not question or seek. Near or far, they’d been tuned into each other.
A resigned smile tugged at the corners of her lips – it wasn’t the soulmate variety, all mushy, though even that perhaps would fit. That smile widened at the thought, into a happy grin. She was glad they had each other, whatever part of each other that they could be, and give.
He’d often called her his muse’s bodyguard. A term, at once an endearment, and a reminder of her place, as the keeper of his sanity. His heart was branded with another’s pulse. His thoughts, though, were hers to seek and share. Just as she gave of hers.
Life, she mused, is just as complicated as you make it – a cliched line from a hackneyed Hindi film, of an aeon ago. She smiled again. She did not need to look at him, to know he wouldn’t, till it was over.
A weeping guitar serenaded titles, the acknowledgements, and then faces, voices, larger than life paintings came alive. She watched absorbed. For her, as with the others, this was a first time watch. Not sneak preview. She’d even avoided the trailer, deliberatedly.
On his other side, she could sense her tension too. Raksha’s.The muse creator. The instigator. The almost-give-up-er. Till he found his way back, to his dream, to her. She would always have his heart though.
A fond quote from a teacher, back in college flashed in her mind. The greatest tempation in life is to confuse dreams with reality. The greatest defeat in life is to surrender dreams to reality. Making sense of what to surrender, and what to pursue, therein lay the biggest challenge. She was simply glad he was discerning enough. He did.
A tear slid down her cheek. Followed by more, as she watched the way the story unfolded – the motif of the road, of a murmuration of swallows, bridges, the slow falling mist (not rising), the story of bridging a yawning chasm, of yearning, between star-crossed lovers. It was too real. It was her story, she realized, as she turned to him, in wonder.He turned that same instant. Tightened his fingers, slightly, warmly. And smiled. The first real smile, that day.
Through the haze of tears, she glimpsed the relief on his face. It was done. He was glad it went off well. For him. Now, of course, it was public – to be taken, torn, touted…as they wished. Knowing him, she knew what he felt, she, and Raksha did, about the film, would be far greater than any other voice.
Her tears were her gift. Her critique. She leaned over and gave him a quick peck on the cheek, got up and left. He’d understand.
There were other dreams to redeem, for him. He would too. The healing had begun.
12 January, to 21 January, 2017
The Sequel (LINK)
Sometimes, so sometimes, there is a rush of the absurd, that will not let you be, till you let it loose. Here is best 🙂